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VPN in UAE: How to use it legally and avoid fines

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Illegal use of VPN is punishable with imprisonment and/or a fine of up to Dh2 million

The use of virtual private networks (VPNs) is one of the highest in the world with 3.82 million residents downloading VPNs in the first-half of 2020.

Though the use of VPN is not illegal in the UAE, its misuse is a serious offence and punishable with a fine of up to Dh2 million and imprisonment. Moreover, using VPN by hiding the IP address to get access to websites, calling and gaming applications which are blocked by the UAE government is illegal.

“The usage of VPN in the UAE is not illegal if it is used as per the guidelines of the UAE government and TRA,” said Ashish Mehta, managing partner of Ashish Mehta & Associates.

Article 1 of the Amended UAE Cyber Law states that using a “fraudulent computer network protocol address by using a false address or a third-party address by any other means for the purpose of committing a crime or preventing its discovery” is punishable with imprisonment and/or a fine of Dh500,000 to Dh2 million.

VPNs can be used legally in the UAE, if it is:

>> Not to spread hate

>> Not to gather people for any illegal protests

>> Not for fraudulent purposes

>> Not to be used for crime

>> Not to be used for preventing crime discovery

>> Not to be used for any anti-religious content

>> Not to use for anti-state activities

>> Not to be used to access porn websites

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